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.hack//G.U. Vol.3//Redemption
Platform: PlayStation 2
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Developer: CyberConnect2
Genre: Action RPG
Format: DVD-ROM
Release: US 09/10/07
Japan 01/18/07
Official Website: English Site



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Adventure with new party members.
 
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Awaken the Avatar.
 
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Clashing egos, a staple of MMORPG drama.
 
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Cat girls, all right!
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Patrick Gann
Hands-On Preview
08/29/07
Patrick Gann

Warning: Being a direct sequel, this review may contain spoilers of the previous game, .hack//G.U. Vol.2//Reminisce.

The third and final volume of G.U. is almost here. We sat down and played the opening hours of Redemption to see what's in store for players.

As with Vol. 2, Vol. 3 brings plenty of new upgrades and addition to gameplay. The "Lost Weapons" introduced at the end of Vol. 2 can now be upgraded multiple times by collecting items called "Virus Cores." Acquiring these special items can only be done by using a new "Awakening" ability, the "Avatar Awakening," with which you data-drain regular enemies.

Your @HOME module has moved to the new city, Breg Epona, following your victory at the Holy Palace Tournament. Your "advanced" @HOME features some upgrades, including room for inventory expansion, advanced alchemy techniques, and other new features. The idea that Haseo is truly becoming an endgame player is driven home well with these advanced features.

The additional gameplay is, in our minds, merely a supplement to the overwhelming scope of the game's story. Redemption's opening cutscenes give a summary of the events in Vol. 2 (Reminisce) and then begin the tale of this final chapter. The major incident? Yata has been removed from his position as the leader of Project G.U. by CC Corp administrators themselves. In his place? The infamous, by now villainous Sakaki. Needless to say, everyone's upset about this.

The players are also upset about the closing down of Moon Tree: especially female protagonist Atoli. Their NPC admin, "Melo Grunty," also took the news badly, and has run away. Hence, your first mission is to track down this melodramatic creature and return him home. It's during this time that Haseo and crew first get the opportunity to try out the new additions to the game.

Outside of "The World," the main menu offers more fun and interesting newsreels, forum posts, and even some movies. Those who bring "clear data" from Vol. 2 over to Vol. 3 can watch the second episode of .hack//ROOTS.

We're excited to see how the events of the G.U. series will conclude, and we're ready to do some serious pseudo-MMO dungeon crawling along the way. Check back in mid-September for our full review!



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© 2007 Namco Bandai Games. All Rights Reserved.


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